Google Settles With DOJ: Paying $500 Million For Illegal Drug Ads

Aug 25, 2011 • 8:10 am | comments (1) by | Filed Under Google News & Finances

Google To Pay $500M To U.S. For AdWords Drug AdsThis comes with no surprise but yesterday the Department of Justice released a statement declaring Google is forfeiting "$500 million for allowing online Canadian pharmacies to place advertisements through its AdWords program targeting consumers in the United States, resulting in the unlawful importation of controlled and non-controlled prescription drugs into the United States."

Google told Search Engine Land that they removed the ads a while ago but in hindsight should have never allowed such ads to run. Google said:

We banned the advertising of prescription drugs in the U.S. by Canadian pharmacies some time ago. However, it's obvious with hindsight that we shouldn't have allowed these ads on Google in the first place. Given the extensive coverage this settlement has already received, we won’t be commenting further.

You can read the full announcement for the DOJ over here.

A WebmasterWorld thread has some members thinking the settlement isn't exactly fair. One said:

The forfeiture includes the price of the ads, but also the revenue earned by the pharmacies themselves. Instead of slapping the pharmacies themselves, Google was punished severely for being the "enabler".

That makes Google responsible for the activity of its advertisers. Feels like there's some justice missing there.

Anyway, this was the agreed settlement and it seems to be done now.

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld and Cre8asite Forums.

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